Performance is the business result of your work. Work hard or work clever, performance validates your business. How you get your staff to perform well is a key management objective. Going beyond this, high performance is succeeding above and beyond standard norms over the long-term. Building high-performance teams in your business involves a set of common characteristics that are recognised to lead to achieving your business goals. Here are five ways to build a high-performance work culture.
Your current company culture may range from ‘no culture’ to a highly defined culture. Whatever your current company culture, change will meet with resistance. Some people may feel threatened; others may feel unfairly treated or simply ignored. Blood letting is highly probably with some staff leaving and others being promoted. Get ready for volatility and focus on the medium term health of your company as you begin to slowly make a transition towards a new culture of high performance. Use your EQ. In the long run it will be worth it.
Building a high performance work culture must start with defining what that looks like. How will a high performance culture change your existing culture? How are you going to smoothly build a high performance culture? What are your short-, medium- and long-term SMART goals? If your goals include using new business or accounting software then you will need to define the value addition then communicate this clearly, monitor, evaluate and revise.
Employees should have the necessary knowledge related to the performance of the business and where it is heading. It should be a priority for employees to understand the goals and targets of the company. In addition, how their jobs support them. Feedback through regular updates from the employees about how they are doing in relation to their targets allows the leadership to get an idea of the company’s overall progress.
Leadership is commonly defined as ‘influencing people towards a common goal.’ If your new common goal is creating a high performance culture, you are going to need some new leaders at the top. Finding new leaders is one thing, on boarding them is another.
Starting a new job can be quite stressful. Actively engage with new employees and make them start to feel a part of your company. Discuss with them their 90 day plan and encourage them to work as a part of the executive team. This helps them develop an understanding of the purpose and approach of each aspect of your business. It will also allow every executive to understand the role and value of individual employees.
Ambiguity opens the door to bad ethics. If nothing is clear, you are in the dark ages. If something is deliberately unclear, then you will face manipulation and conflict. Staff will feel cheated or unfairly treated.
Your leadership challenge is to ensure that your team mutually constructs shared meaning, using effective communication methods and channels. Building mutual trust can be the hardest thing to do in any organisation. Start by dealing with conflict openly, fairly and transparently and not allowing grudges to build up and destroy relationships and lower morale.
The ‘smell of the place’ is the first thing a new employee will sense. If you walk in to an office and immediately feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed your first impressions will probably last.
If you hire a ‘Zero EQ’ person, then he or she won’t notice it! But you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place. If you are warmly and politely greeted and you have a high EQ, then you should get off to a flying start.
Creating an overall team culture that is open, transparent, positive, future-focused and able to deliver your business goals will provide a foundation for building a high performance work culture.
In Great Britain, high-performance workplaces are defined as being those organisations where workers are actively communicated with and involved in the decisions directly affecting the workers. By regulation of the UK Department of Trade and Industry, these workplaces are required in most organisations. Use this leadership model for your own workplace.